Cartoon Network boosts its 'Get Animated' effort

ATLANTA: The Cartoon Network continues to expand its "Get Animated" program, its overall healthy lifestyles initiative, with a number of community and media outreach efforts aiming to educate children about the importance of regular exercise and a healthy diet.

ATLANTA: The Cartoon Network continues to expand its "Get Animated" program, its overall healthy lifestyles initiative, with a number of community and media outreach efforts aiming to educate children about the importance of regular exercise and a healthy diet.

The network recently filmed PSAs with Major League Soccer (MLS) players Freddy Adu and Kenny Cooper, promoting soccer as a fun and healthy activity. They are currently airing both on the network nationally, and in select MLS stadiums during games.

In addition to the PSAs, the network recently came to an agreement with the Food and Drug Administration to create the site www.spottheblock.com, intended to help kids understand nutritional labels. The site includes streaming PSA spots, an interactive nutritional block, and other activities to get children involved.

In March, the network partnered with the Association of Junior Leagues International for National Nutrition Month, putting together a kit intended to encourage parents to get more involved with their child's food choices. That program initially had 500 children, but the network is now expanding it nationally.

"It's about empowering kids to take action and positively impact their own lives, as well as other kids'," said Dennis Adamovich, SVP of marketing for the Cartoon Network. "We wanted to put together programs that actually impacted lives."

Now in its third year, Adamovich said the "Get Animated" program benefits from an advisory committee that includes officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, the Parent Teacher Association, and the President's Council of Fitness and Sports.

"It's been very beneficial for us, in terms of how we approach this," he added. "We know children's TV pretty well, but there are plenty of people who are smarter than us on the issues of health. So we look to them for honest advice."

On top of the various new initiatives, Adamovich said the network will renew some of the more successful elements from last year. "Rescuing Recess," a campaign designed to bring back or maintain the daily recess in schools, will be launched again in September.

Zeno Group provides the network with assistance on elements of the campaign, mainly associated with "Rescuing Recess."

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